An update on donor-derived disease transmission in organ transplantation

Am J Transplant. 2011 Jun;11(6):1123-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03493.x. Epub 2011 Mar 28.


Several recent donor-to-recipient disease transmissions have highlighted the importance of this rare complication of solid organ transplantation. The epidemiology of donor-derived disease transmissions in the United States has been described through reports to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN); these reports are reviewed and categorized by the ad hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee (DTAC); additional data comes through the published literature. From these reports, it is possible to estimate that donor-derived disease transmission complicates less than 1% of all transplant procedures but when a transmission occurs, significant morbidity and mortality can result. Only through continued presentation of the available data can continuous quality improvements be made. As the epidemiology of donor-derived disease transmission has become better understood, several groups have been working on methods to further mitigate this risk.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Tissue Donors*
  • United States